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Meatless Meat: Is it healthier than the original?

Posted at 11:01 AM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 12:01:58-05

Burger King already debuted the "Impossible Whopper"!

You've seen the ads where people are fooled into thinking they're eating beef, instead, it's a plant-based patty.

All types of restaurants are now venturing into this new territory.

A recent survey shows 38 percent of diners are trying to add more plant-based food to their diet.

So we wanted to know, if this "Meatless" option is actually healthier.

Nissa Buth is passionate about making food that tastes good and is good for you.

Buth says, "There are a lot of people out there who don't want to have animal products."

She says it is better for the environment to pick a meatless meat over the standard option.

For instance, Harvard Health says imitation meat does not require as much water or greenhouse gas emissions as original animal products.

But when it comes to the nutritional value, Buth says, "It's very processed food and not very healthy so I don't choose to eat it."

She adds it's hard to compare plant based protein with actual meat but a chart from Harvard Health can help.

The two big brands "Impossible" and "Beyond" are close in calories to lean ground beef, but beef has more cholesterol.

And the two meatless choices have a lot more sodium.

"I've tried the impossible meat burger, stuff like that." Buth says, "I'm starting to lean to being a vegetarian for like health purposes."

When Buth scanned the ingredients and saw pea protein or coconut oil, she says, "I'm actually surprised, it seems that some of the products are improving a little bit, but still quite a few things I'm not sure what they are."

She says they are still a good alternative for people trying to cut down or eliminate meat from their diets but nothing beats whole real foods.

"Leafy greens actually have the highest per calorie amount of protein out of anything that's out there, including a big steak."

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